July 31, 2001
JOAN V.T. ALEXANDER: Thanks to Sergio Garcia for spending some time with us today. You had a chance to play today, to see the changes in the golf course. Why don't you make some comments on that then we will go into some questions.
SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, well, I think there are two, three very good changes. I think the 4th hole, the green, it is better than what it used to be because it is just a little wider on the front. That hole looks pretty good right now, and, 8, I don't know if they are going to use the tee or not. Tell you the truth, it is going to make it -- it is not going to be -- I don't know how it is going to be involved because that tee is going to make a lot of guys to lay up, so, you are not going to see going over the trees with a long iron, something like that as much as you used to. And it is enough -- pretty difficult to hit that green, so, I don't know what will happen there. Then the changes on 11 and 13 they look good -- changes look very good. 13 more than anything, I think it's a great hole right now, very challenging and with the water there on the left side. The lay-up is pretty tough too, it's not an easy lay-up. So, I think the changes are pretty good.
JOAN V.T. ALEXANDER: Questions.
Q. How are you feeling about your game coming into this week?
SERGIO GARCIA: I am feeling quite well. I have been playing very well, and you know, I am pretty comfortable and pretty confident with myself. But you never know how it is going to go. Hopefully I will be able to go out there and really keep playing the way I have been playing and if you get a good momentum you just keep it going, you should be in contention to win the tournament.
Q. First Seve and then Jose Maria, then you, what is the deal with Spain being so creative around the greens? Is there something about the courses you guys grew up in or what is the deal there?
SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know. To tell you the truth, I don't know, since I was young I have always liked to chip around the greens and try different things with a lob wedge and clubs like that. I guess that's probably one of the things. Maybe, I don't know, maybe in Europe you have to do more different things around the greens than here in the U.S.. The U.S. is usually just, because the rough is pretty high around the greens you just flop it and just try to get it as close as you can. Maybe it will happen a little more creativity in that but I couldn't give you the key to be a good chipper, just practice.
Q. It is not just around the greens - rescue shots, Seve out of parking lots, whatever, and you hitting out of a tree at Medinah, is there something more of a gambling attitude?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, that all depends on the player. If you like to take or call it a gamble maybe you see your odds, what you are trying to do, that is probably confidence in yourself too, because you feel like you can do it and maybe to you it doesn't look as difficult as it may be is. So I will say probably those things.
Q. Talking to some of the guys on the range they are saying that this week, it's a little bit more of a mental challenge from the standpoint that you play your majority of your tournaments at sea level. Now you come to altitude where the ball is going 15, 20 yards further. It is more of a thinking tournament or more of a feel tournament when you are playing in an altitude mile high above sea level?
SERGIO GARCIA: Yes, it kind of -- you have to think a little bit more because of all of that stuff. But it is just -- just going to make sure you get it the right way and for example, Glen and me, when we come to this altitude we usually play in meters counting as if it was yards, so that way we take like 10, 12 percent off every shot we are hitting, so that is more or less what the difference is. But it is not easy because sometimes you are going to hit wedges that are going to go for ever and just never seem to come down. You don't know what is going on. You just got to realize...
Q. Is your schedule going to change because of Sam already saying he is going to pick you for the Ryder Cup team if you don't play in Europe, will that --
SERGIO GARCIA: I haven't heard that.
Q. Yeah, we heard that. Sam said it's you and Jesper are in no matter what happens?
SERGIO GARCIA: When was this?
Q. Reported this week.
SERGIO GARCIA: Perfect. That's beautiful.
Q. He hasn't told you yet?
SERGIO GARCIA: I am going to stay here.
Q. You haven't talked to him?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, I haven't had the chance. But I don't know, I am hoping to play well the PGA and get my spot in the NEC so can try to make the team on my own. If not, I don't know, probably take that week off and maybe play BMW in Germany and so, I don't know, still a long ways to go. Hopefully the most important thing is to play well here and PGA. PGA is a big week for me and you know, if I am able to play well there and get my spot in the NEC it will make it a lot easier to make the team by myself. That's probably what Sam would like. That's what I am going to try to do.
Q. We in the media are always trying to find the next rival or find the rival for Tiger. Is it important that Tiger have one rival the way that Arnold Palmer had Nicklaus --
SERGIO GARCIA: I don't think so. I think he should probably have more than one. Should probably have like three or four. It is not just between two guys. But I think that we are all raising the level to -- raising our game to the next level and as you can see the scores are a lot better this year and the way we have played all the tournaments has been amazing. I think that's great. That's probably thanks to Tiger too. We got to thank him about that. And then we just got to try to beat him and everybody else.
Q. In a few years The INTERNATIONAL will be the tournament before the PGA Championship. Does that help The INTERNATIONAL or is that a negative to when you have event before a major?
SERGIO GARCIA: I don't know, it all depends what you like to do for a major. For some players it will help; for some it won't because some guys like to play before the major and some guys don't. And it all depends where the PGA has been played because if it's in the other side of the United States and then it is a little far to come to them and then go back to the PGA --
Q. I was in Spain and Portugal this summer. I just wondered what are your favorite courses to play in Spain and Portugal?
SERGIO GARCIA: Actually never played in Portugal. Although I live pretty close to it. I really like in Spain -- of course I like my home course, I think it's a great course. I really enjoy playing Valderrama and Soto Grande. I think they are very good courses. Those are probably my best three.
Q. You were in contention last year, kind of fell off at the end. What did you learn last year about your game and this course and how they fit together and what it takes?
SERGIO GARCIA: It takes a lot of patience, that's for sure. Just realizing that if you make a bogey or double-bogey in this course it is a big difference. And you know that you can get it back with an eagle. It's something that you got to realize because sometimes you make a bogey or double-bogey and you say, well, I am out of it, if you make a birdie, you make an eagle, you are back in the same place that you were or even better. So, just got to realize those things and try to be patient and play the best you can. But you know, unfortunately, I didn't play well in the last round last year but I think I am a lot better player now than what I used to be anyway.
Q. Did you watch last night Tiger and David and what are your thoughts about it?
SERGIO GARCIA: I watched a little. Well, it was okay. It was different. But I don't know, I think it was okay. Maybe it wasn't as exciting as other years, but it was-- it looked pretty tough with the wind and everything.
? SERGIO GARCIA: For sure not for me. For me it was very exciting last year.
Q. You had a member of your team get injured at the British Open in a golf cart accident. How did that affect you?.
SERGIO GARCIA: It was kind of hard at the beginning because it was -- he is my assistant Carlos and he is such a great guy and does a lot of work for me and to be on Wednesday afternoon of the British Open, it is even worse, it just getting ready to play the tournament, finished practicing, everything, I was getting ready to go home, to go to the hotel and this happened. Well, it is not easy. But he was really strong and you know, he helped me to keep going and play well as I did in the tournament because you know, he was in the hospital he was telling me don't worry about me, I will be okay, just go out there and concentrate and try to win it for me. That's what I tried to do. I couldn't do it at the end, unfortunately, but he really helped me being able to play not as worried as maybe as I should have been.
Q. All the players that have been spoken to they love coming out here to Denver. They also talked about the milk shakes out here. Do you like them? What is your favorite flavor?
SERGIO GARCIA: I usually have vanilla and chocolate. They are really good, but they are so good that you have to be careful. Yeah, you don't want to eat too many of those, but everything, the food is great too. And of course, the milk shakes, but everything around this tournament is really impressive.
Q. You still doing the air hockey around here or are you staying away from that?
SERGIO GARCIA: I have got to do ice hockey now (laughs).
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